Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Squad Player Leaves and Burnley Linked With U’s Defender but Club ‘Vying to Bring’ In Arsenal Youngster

Oxford United

This week at Oxford United, one of their valuable squad players departed the club. Elsewhere, the U’s have been linked with an Arsenal youngster and club captain John Mousinho completed his UEFA Pro Licence. Then, on Sunday, reports suggested Burnley were considering a bid for a U’s defender.

Oxford United Weekly Round-Up: Williams Gone, Burnley Pursue U’s Defender and Arsenal Midfielder Targeted

Australian Winger Returns Home

Oxford United winger Ryan Williams has left the club and returned to Australia to sign for Perth Glory for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old joined the U’s for a second time last summer and scored ten times from 78 outings over the two spells.

But, having been in England since he was a teenager, the Australian felt the time was right to return home.

Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “I have loved my time in English football, particularly with Oxford where the gaffer, the players and the fans have been incredible.

“It’s a very special football club and that made my decision really difficult, but this is an unbelievable chance for me and my family and I am really looking forward to a new challenge.

“I have been in England for 12 years now and because of lockdown, I hadn’t seen my family for three years, during which time I have had a little family of my own.”

He added: “I want to thank the gaffer, who has such strong family values and fully understood what moving home meant to me, but I also want to thank all of the staff and fans for looking after me and making my time in Oxford so unforgettable.

“We may be half a world away pretty soon but I’ll certainly be wishing the club every success for the season ahead.”

U’s boss Karl Robinson added: “Willo has been amazing for us.

“He is an outstanding individual, one of the brightest lads I’ve coached, and he has been very honest and clear about this move, as you would expect from him.

It’s a wonderful adventure for him and for his young family and he leaves on the best of terms with our best wishes for the future.”

Arsenal Youngster Targeted by League One Clubs

Oxford are one of three League One sides that are “vying to bring Arsenal’s Jack Henry-Francis” to their club, according to reports.

The 18-year-old midfielder has been given the green light by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta for a loan move away and the U’s could face a battle with MK Dons and Plymouth Argyle to sign him.

Oxford United Captain Completes UEFA Pro Licence

On Friday, veteran defender and club captain John Mousinho completed his UEFA Pro Licence.

The 36-year-old received his certificate from England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant Steve Holland.

The defender, who joins a group of fewer than 500 people in England to receive the Pro Licence, worked the 18-month course alongside his role as chair of the Professional Footballers’ Association and playing and coaching with Oxford United.

Mousinho is under contract until next summer but the defender will likely spend most of his time on the touchline alongside Karl Robinson.

McNally Targeted by Recently Relegated Premier League Club

Oxford United defender Luke McNally has been targeted by recently relegated Premier League club, Burnley, reports the Oxford Mail.

The Clarets have seen long-serving defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee depart Turf Moor already this summer and need to begin a rebuild ahead of their return to the Championship next season under the new management of former Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany.

The report suggests that Burnley are considering making a ‘£1 million-plus’ bid for the 22-year-old, who has two years remaining on his current deal.

The young centre-back enjoyed his first full season at the club, scoring four times from 35 appearances in all competitions.

However, should McNally depart, it would leave the U’s with just two recognised centre-backs in John Mousinho and Elliott Moore, with the former now 36.

Bids Rejected From Burnley

Following news that Burnley had shown interest in McNally, it has now been revealed that the Clarets have since seen three bids rejected.

According to Neil O’Riordan of the Irish Sun, Burnley “have had three bids – the latest for £1.5million – turned down for the 22-year-old.”

The report adds that they believe Oxford would be willing to allow the centre back to depart Grenoble Road for a fee of £1.75 million, which is more than the club sold Rob Atkinson to Bristol City last summer.

From that figure, McNally’s former club St Patrick’s Athletic would receive around £300,000 due to a sell-on clause in his contract.